inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #76 of 249: "The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Fri 7 Sep 07 06:43
    
Top picture is the relevant zither, BYW.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #77 of 249: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Fri 7 Sep 07 06:55
    
I am loving this although not having much to contribute. I grew up in
Chicago in the 1970's and remember hearing Steve Goodman on the radio
growing up, especially the New Year's Eve concerts (which I think were
broadcast on WXRT, but don't quote me - a great radio station that
used to do two featured artists a day, pairing King Crimson with
Carole King, for example, or Pink Floyd with Blue Oyster Cult...)

I would dearly love to see again the Soundstage that Steve Goodman did
with John Prine and Hoyt Axton. Oh, that was a great night. 

(I'm not so sure that Chicago moved away from the Blues, though, even
if people in other areas did. I have another great memory of a
friend's mom taking us way into usually-forbidden territory to see
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells in a packed, tiny bar one icy night..)
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #78 of 249: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 7 Sep 07 08:37
    
I found this:

from WIKIPEDIA: "In Germany the cittern survives under the name
Lutherzither. The name comes from the belief that Martin Luther played
this instrument, and a tendency in modern German to interchange the
words for cittern and zither. The term waldzither came into use around
1900, in order to distinguish citterns from zithers."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cittern

[All these historical paths leading to the revered, smashed and burned
electric guitar.]
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #79 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Sep 07 10:14
    


(All of Steve Goodman's CDs and videos are available from this site:

http://www.musicfansdirect.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=4

)
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #80 of 249: John Ross (johnross) Fri 7 Sep 07 10:34
    
The best-known example of the European zither is probably Anton Karas'
"Third Man Theme." Here's a video of Karas playing it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFz79SBnuk8

The family of names for plucked instruments is not limited to German:
zither, cittern, sitar, and guitar are all related.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #81 of 249: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 7 Sep 07 10:35
    

This is a strange year in that the Cubs are poised to break out of their
traditional doormat position that Goodman celebrated in his classic 
Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request song.  

What did you learn about that song, and about Steve Goodman's baseball and
baseball music connections?   I'd guess he never got to perform it at 
Cooperstown or have any of the hit baseball tune acclaim, though it 
seems to have become an enduring bit of Chicago lore now.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #82 of 249: Chris (cooljazz) Fri 7 Sep 07 11:12
    


 Clay, glad to have you hear.  And catching up, and having visited
Chicago in the 70's, and lived there subsequently, Steve Goodman was
somewhat of a legend when I first
 visited the Windy City. Though at the time I had the distinct feeling
(or so I understood from my girlfried at the time) 
that it was more of a "...We have incredible musicians here in
Chicago, its just that the world refuses to realize that..."

 Most memorable for me, and I'm sure the song must still be played in
Chicago from time to time:
Lincoln Park Pirates. 
If  you ever had your car towed, in Chicago, it was probably by,
infamous, Lincoln Park towing. And whenever you parked, if the sign
said towing by Lincoln Park, you moved your car as soon as possible.


"...From Wilmette to Gary, there's nothin' so hairy 
And we always collect our fee! 
So it's way, hey, tow 'em away, ..."


 And yes, it was true, Lincoln Park always did get their fee. I paid
it once myself. :)
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #83 of 249: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 7 Sep 07 11:17
    
That was fun to watch Anton Karas play that recognizable song.  Thanks
John!
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #84 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Fri 7 Sep 07 11:58
    
Gail, don't call it a season yet. The Cubs have been this close in
other recent years, but Goodman's "Dying Cub Fan" remains accurate.
I've got severely mixed feelings about the prospect of the Cubs getting
to the Series. If they do, who will rewrite "Dying Cub Fan," and how?

One thing I focused on in the book is Goodman's lifelong ties to the
Cubs, including his several Cubs-related songs. No way can I do justice
to all of that here. Suffice to say that since 1969, the same year he
was diagnosed with leukemia, Goodman tried fitfully to write a baseball
song.

“I get about three-quarters of the way through it, and then I walk
somebody and take myself out,” he told a club audience in 1973. “I
never get to finish the damn thing. It’s true. I get about
three-quarters of the way through it, and then I’m struggling, it’s a
hot afternoon, and I’m lookin’ to the bench, and the manager comes out
and yanks me. I get pinch-hit for all the time.”

Early in 1981, however, on the eve of the major leagues' first
mid-season work stoppage, "Dying Cub Fan" came to him in a dream. It
was based on the traditional string of "Unfortunate Rake" and "St.
James Infirmary" songs in which the protagonist planned his own funeral
-- and for Goodman, the funeral site was Wrigley Field. It became
Goodman's classic valentine to the Cubs, and many consider it the best
baseball song ever written.

You're right, Gail, that "Dying Cub Fan" didn't sweep the nation that
year, and he didn't perform it at Cooperstown that I know of (although
part of him rests there today -- see the book). But when Steve put a
live version of it on his "Affordable Art" LP in 1983, Chicago's
correspondent for NBC Today tried to give it prominence by asking the
Cubs if his crew could film Goodman performing it at Wrigley. Dallas
Green, Cubs GM at the time, nixed the idea, however, saying its losers'
theme didn't send the right message. Leonard thwarted Green, however,
by taking Goodman to the top of a walk-up outside left field and having
his cameraman shoot down on Goodman in the foreground, with Wrigley's
interior in the background. Classic stuff, but the song still didn't
rock the mainstream.

But "Dying Cub Fan" has an important legacy in spawning a song that
rocks Wrigley every time the Cubs (as Goodman put it) "screw up and
win." Dan Fabian at the Cubs' radio station, WGN, wasn't pleased that
Dallas Green had banned Goodman from playing "Dying Cub Fan" at
Wrigley, so early in 1984, just six months before Steve died, Fabian
asked Goodman if he could write another Cubs song. "Yeah, I'd love to
do it," Steve replied. "It's gonna be an anthem."

Thus was born "Go, Cubs, Go," which is played immediately after the
final out of every Cubs  win at Wrigley. It roars over the
loudspeakers, and 40,000 fans sing along. I witnessed this last May 18,
when the Cubs won the first game of an interleague series with the
White Sox, and it was truly electrifying. But I also wondered how many
of the delirious fans knew who wrote the song.

"Lincoln Park Pirates" is another down-to-earth Goodman tune rising
from the streets of Chicago. Interestingly, Goodman waited awhile
before singing it outside of Chicago and put it on his second LP, not
his first, because he initially thought it was too local. But soon he
discovered that nefarious towing operations existed everywhere, and
before long "Lincoln Park Pirates" was a frequent request at his
out-of-town gigs. When someone would shout the song at venues around
the country, Goodman would crack, "Ah, the outpatients from Chicago are
here tonight."
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #85 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Fri 7 Sep 07 12:05
    
Saul Broudy, Goodman's longtime harmonica player and vocal accompanist
and who was the first of my more than 1,000 sources for the book just
e-mailed me, asking me to post the following in relations to the
earlier exchanges about Ken Bloom:

"Bloom played clarinet on the Yiddish show tune 'Bei Mir Bist Du
Sheyn,' an instrumental on my 1977 Adelphi LP 'Travels With Broudy,'for
which Steve Goodman wrote the back cover blurb. Bloom's clarinet,
trading licks with my minor-key harmonica, really made the piece. I've
always thought of Ken as someone who could play music from many
European traditions (witness his expertise on the Ukrainian bandura),
and though I wasn't aware that he was well-studied in klezmer
traditions back then, he certainly had the chops and the spirit."
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #86 of 249: What is going to amuse our bouches now? (bumbaugh) Fri 7 Sep 07 12:43
    
From off-Well, James Lee Stanley writes to say:


the last time that i saw goodman, i believe, was at my home in santa cruz.
he had very very short hair, one of those shunts in his head (i believe,
tho it was around thirty years ago) and an irrepressible twinkle in his
eye.   he was funny, charming and gracious and for some reason, we didn't
break out the guitars and play...woulda, shoulda, coulda.  he is
irreplaceable,

james lee stanley
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #87 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Fri 7 Sep 07 12:58
    
Thanks, James Lee, for your heartfelt story from 1983-84 and for your
invaluable help with the book -- not just your own memories but also
the sources with whom you connected me. Your sentiment reflects that of
countless others.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #88 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Sep 07 14:02
    

THe book includes quite a bit of excellent material on the Lincoln Park
Pirates, and the fear that sme of Goodman's intimates had that his safety
could be at risk.   He did take the perpetrator's name out of the released
version.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #89 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Fri 7 Sep 07 14:19
    
Not only did Goodman take perpetrator (love that word) Ross Cascio's
name out of the recorded version (by using "the fat man"), but WBBM 
radio, pressured by its CBS management, removed the words "Lincoln
Park" from the version of the song the station was airing, fearing a
lawsuit by Cascio. The irony is that Cascio loved the song!
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #90 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Sep 07 20:19
    

When I said "connections" above I should have said "musical connections."
Steve Goodman crossed paths with so many wonderful musicians, and put a lot
of energy into supporting many of them as well.  Were there any leads that
led you to unexpected places or players?
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #91 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sat 8 Sep 07 08:52
    
Sure. Quite a few. Some examples:

-- Goodman apparently stirred the ire of reclusive and idiosyncratic
guitarist John Fahey in 1973 by asking for an earlier slot at the
Buffalo Folk Festival, at least if you believe Fahey's vicious and
bizarre memoir, "How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life," published in
2000 a few months before Fahey's death. Here's a taste of Fahey's
screed: "He thinks he's great. And relevant. And important.
Significant. RIP. har, har, har."

-- Goodman wheedled his way into what became legendary jazz violinist
Joe Venuti's final recording sessions, playing asynchronous blues
guitar -- including a riff on a racetrack trumpeter's herald -- on the
track "Honeysuckle Rose." The sessions were released posthumously on a
Flying Fish LP a year later as "Joe in Chicago, 1978."

-- Goodman's decidedly non-folkie 1977 song "I'm Attracted to You"
(music by Rick Chudacoff), whose lyrics came dangerously close to being
the theme song for a stalker, ended up as one of half a dozen demo
tracks recorded in 1978 by actress Diane Keaton after her Oscar win for
"Annie Hall" and before she left for the Soviet Union to film "Reds"
with Warren Beatty. The Keaton tracks were never officially released.

-- Goodman's performance of his (and Prine's) "Twentieth Century Is
Almost Over" at a star-studded 1979 tribute to murdered Chilean
musician Victor Jara at New York's Beacon Theatre prompted famed
symphony composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein to stamp up the
backstage stairs and roar, "Where is he? Where is he? Who wrote that
song? I want to write songs with him!"

Leads for these anecdotes came to me from people I interviewed,
bolstered by the typical go-blind-at-the-microfilm-machine research.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #92 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Sat 8 Sep 07 15:59
    

Did anything come of the Bernstein encounter?
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #93 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sat 8 Sep 07 17:32
    
Unfortunately, no, but wouldn't it have been great if it had? "West
Side Story"-cum-"Twentieth Century."

Goodman had this way of connecting with all manner of musicians and
audiences instantly and viscerally, so while in one sense it was
surprising to find a Bernstein connection, in another sense, nothing
would surprise me about his connection with any musician.

Of course, the connections weren't always with the famous. There's a
great 1978 story told by the Steve Martin tour bus driver of Goodman
crossing the border from El Paso to Juarez and buying a gigantic
sombrero, then sitting on a picnic table at an interstate rest stop and
regaling weary drivers with "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?"
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #94 of 249: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sun 9 Sep 07 07:32
    
From Off-WeLL
<<inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #72 of 91: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Thu 6 Sep 07 21:55

Between the North Side folkie clubs (I'll lump the Old Town School in
there) and the South Side blues clubs? Not much, I'm afraid. This was
and is a reflection of a racially and culturally segregated metropolis.

That said, there were and are exceptions, and Goodman fits in here, to
some extent. The Old Town School historically has cast a wide net over
what could be defined as "folk," and blues artists have always been
part of the mix -- witness Big Bill Broonzy's early involvement. Also,
for more than four decades the South Side's University of Chicago has
hosted a yearly folk festival. But the emphasis there, it should be
stated, has been on more traditional music of all stripes, as opposed
to the genre of singer/songwriters that the North Side clubs embraced.


[snip]

In that vein, I truly hope that my Goodman biography prompts other
writers -- particularly Chicagoans -- to dig further into the kind of
question you raise, John, and to shed more printed light on what seems
to me to be the woefully unsung (or under-sung) saga of music in
Chicago.>>


Indeed, Clay, this would be fascinating.  I hope some Chicagoan with your
talent as a researcher/writer will take your bait on this.  There would be
so much to examine:  not only the 1970s ("Goodman") period, but the 1960s
(Gate of Horn, Mother Blues, etc.), and the relationship between the folk
scene and the blues, country, jazz and ethnic musical communities of Chicago
among numerous other spinoffs.

I had the privilege of spending many weeks a year in Chicago during the
1970s to do my own gigs, Goodman recording sessions, and New Years bashes at
the Earl of Old Town with Goodman.   I was a regular at Somebody Else's
Troubles, later Holstein's, and at the Earl.  These were heady times, and
provide me some of my most vivid memories.  A study of just this period on
the North Side would be exciting in itself.

Saul Broudy
Philadelphia, PA
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #95 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sun 9 Sep 07 08:43
    
Insightful words from a folklorist extraordinaire. Thanks, Saul.

I should add that books do exist about segments of Chicago music
through the years, but the trick would be to integrate the city's
genres, place them into a national context and thereby give them a
national audience, no easy feat.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #96 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Sun 9 Sep 07 08:57
    

Clay, I'm guessing this book isn't going to be super-prominently featured at
Borders etc.  Does Amazon have it?  Are there other online sources you can
point us to?  Powell's?
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #97 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sun 9 Sep 07 10:26
    
What my publisher tells me about availability of the Goodman bio at
bookstores is that if the "big box" stores (Borders, Barnes & Noble)
carry the book on their shelves, it will be only one or two copies at a
time, and they will replenish them only one or two at a time when
they're sold. This is because of the book's girth (8x10-inch format, 2
inches and 800 pages thick) as much as anything else. (Fortunately, the
book is wide enough that we were able to get a nice photo of Goodman's
face on the book's spine. Most book spines don't have a photo.)

This doesn't mean you can't order the Goodman bio from a bookstore if
it's not on the shelf. Every bookstore out there, both the independents
and the chains, can order it, and usually it can arrive for pickup in
just a few days.

Yes, the book is on sale at Amazon, Powell's and a variety of other
online sources. Just Google the book's title, "Steve Goodman: Facing
the Music," and you'll see that. (Egad, I just discovered it's even at
WalMart's site. I guess there are stranger things in this world.)

I have to say that the best online source is my own Internet site,
clayeals.com, which my publisher encouraged me to establish. Not only
does my webmaster run a great fulfillment operation, but with every
book she also sends out a postcard of the book cover that is
hand-signed by me. This is a way to respond to requests for a signed
copy. Given the book's weight (4-plus pounds), it makes no sense for
anyone to pay an added $10 to ship a copy to my home and back just for
my signature, so the postcard serves as a reasonable substitute --
besides, it makes a nice bookmark. Such a postcard is not available at
other sites.

The purchase price at my Internet site is $25 instead of the $29.95
list price. For most U.S. locales, my site's charge for postage (via
media mail) and shipping is $4.95, so those who get the book from my
site usually will pay a total that is no more than list.

This may sound like so much hype, but it's true: Indications from my
publisher over the past week are that because of my recent tour of the
northeastern United States and an Associated Press story on the book
that ran in some 850 newspapers during August, the first printing of
5,000 copies may be approaching a sell-out. What that tells me is that
anyone wanting to make sure to obtain a copy of the book should do so
soon. I'm learning more about the book biz all the time, and one of
those facts is that if a first printing sells out, a second printing is
not necessarily a foregone conclusion. Of course, I would hope for a
second printing, but many factors influence such a decision.

I can't speak for the other online venues, but at this point I know
that my webmaster's fulfillment operation has a healthy supply of
books, so an order from my site would be a good bet.

That may be more than you wanted to know, David, but I hope the
information is helpful.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #98 of 249: Gail Williams (gail) Sun 9 Sep 07 11:31
    
That's a hell of an acomplishment with a BIG book like this one!  Kudos!
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #99 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Sun 9 Sep 07 11:55
    

Dude, this topic is here at least in part to help you sell books, so it's
great to tell eople in as much detail as necessary how to get it.
  
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #100 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Sun 9 Sep 07 11:57
    

Tell us about the tour(s) with Steve Martin.  Great stories in the book, and
what a great break for our hero!
  

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